I was nine when I first realised I wanted to be a writer. I distinctly remember receiving a Jacqueline Wilson Write-Your-Own-Novel kit for my birthday, and spent weeks writing a fantastical story about an all-girls Chelsea Football Club. Not my best work.
The basis of Frankenstein is an experiment that pulls the rug from under its own repeatability. “Never will I create another like yourself,” says the scientist to his “odious handiwork.” The book itself, by the same token, is commonly considered a literary one-off. Mary Shelley, however, was not writing in a vacuum.